The Scent of the Deal
Did you know that of all of our senses, the sense of smell is the most powerful in terms of driving emotions and memories? I know . . . it’s not something we think about often in terms of business marketing and sales, but we should, because it is a significant influencer. Retailers know this, which is why they often test the air and modify the scent to evoke certain feelings about their merchandising and branding.
The main thing we want to be aware of is avoiding negative reactions, both overt and subliminal, in the environments in which we may be hosting people and presenting. It’s all in the details . . . the bathrooms, popcorn scent coming from the coffee room, and of course any type of moldy scent that can sometimes build up in the service areas behind the scenes.
As for personal grooming, that goes beyond the scope of our expertise but it’s a good idea to occasionally ask your co-salespeople about how you may be coming across. As I have told students in my classes, I have purchased small bottles of Scope and quietly put them on a salesperson’s desk . . . he/she got the message. And as for perfume and cologne, be careful. They are VERY subjective, and studies have shown that when people are asked to pick their favorite scent in blind tests, most of the people choose the selection that has no added scent at all. I think we would all agree that too much of any perfume or cologne is distracting in a business encounter.
As salespeople, we spend a lot of time honing our skills relative to sight and sound, but let’s not forget the most powerful sense of all when sharpening our selling game.